01.25.07

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Sun Looking for Acquisition Targets?

Posted in Deals, Finance, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, SUN at 12:25 pm by Shane Coyle

Talks of acquisitions in the industry continue to abound, with recent speculation over possible moves by Oracle and Novell.

On Tuesday, Sun posted better-than-expected quarterly results and also announced they received an influx of cash from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Now industry analysts and Sun shareholders are looking for indications from Sun as to how they are planning to use these funds, including potential acquisitions. Two names that are mentioned as targets are Red Hat and Novell.

In recent years, Sun has pushed deeper into open-source technology by opening up the software code for its Solaris operating system, driving hardware sales of its proprietary hardware. The move amounted to an admission that Linux, a rival operating system to Sun’s Unix platform, was gaining ground among its high-end corporate customers, leading some experts to speculate that Linux specialists Red Hat or Novell could make tempting acquisition targets for the company.

With Red Hat and Novell each offering Linux operating-system software and support, a deal would give Sun a top offering for Linux, as well as Unix, users. And although both companies would be expensive–Red Hat sports a market capitalization of $4.2 billion and an enterprise value of $3.7 billion, compared with $2.7 billion and $1.9 billion for Novell–they would not be out of Sun’s price range.

It will be interesting to see if Jonathan Schwartz comes to a different conclusion than Larry Ellison had about the potential for acquiring either Novell or Red Hat. So far, the Oracle move hasn’t really panned out, has it?

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3 Comments

  1. Draconishinobi said,

    January 25, 2007 at 5:04 pm

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    If Sun does buy Novell would that be a good thing or a bad thing ?

  2. shane said,

    January 25, 2007 at 9:19 pm

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    I don’t know, but lately Sun has been more Free Software friendly than Novell…

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 25, 2007 at 10:00 pm

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    I think they are independent enough at the moment, so takeover and embrace of the Linux kernel seems very improbable.

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